Can Dehydration Cause Low GFR? Connecting Kidneys and Hydration
Chronic kidney disease affects more than 37 million Americans, most of whom don’t even know they have an issue. Kidney function can be impacted by a host of factors, including certain medications and hydration status. One of the fastest ways to tell if you have a kidney problem is to take a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) blood test.
Here, we’ll answer the question “can dehydration cause low GFR”. You’ll learn more about this vital kidney health metric and discover how hydration status can affect kidney function. Plus, you’ll find how oral rehydration solutions like DripDrop ORS can fight the dehydration that may cause low GFR values.
What Is GFR?
A GFR blood test assesses overall kidney function, also known as renal function. The kidneys are responsible for removing waste, fluid, and acidity from your body. Your body transports oxygen-rich blood through arteries to the kidneys. Within the kidneys, these major arteries branch out into smaller units of blood vessels, known as glomeruli.
Glomeruli act as small, but powerful filters of blood, removing excess water and wastes. After filtration, the filtered blood enters a tubule. Together, glomeruli and the tubule are known as a nephron in the kidney.
The GFR test is a blood test that measures your levels of creatinine — a waste product made in your muscles — in the blood. It’s one of two methods healthcare professionals use to assess kidney health. The other is a urine test that checks for high levels of protein, which is an indicator of kidney damage.
A doctor may also use an eGFR value. This measurement is an estimated GFR and is based on a formula that incorporates age, sex, and race. These numbers aren’t as accurate as a GFR blood sample, particularly if you have high or low levels of muscle mass or body weight.
The GFR test examines the amount of blood that passes through these glomeruli using measurements of milliliters per minute. Low GFR numbers tend to indicate poor kidney function. GFR scores can be affected not just by the levels of creatinine in your blood, but also by your age, sex, and race. GFR naturally declines with age, meaning you’ll have lower numbers when you’re older, even if you don’t have chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Here are the most common GFR values for adults between 20 and 60 years of age:
- Normal: 90-140 ml/min
- Mild kidney failure: 60-90 ml/min
- Moderate kidney failure: 30-60 ml/min
- Severe kidney failure: 15-30 ml/min
- Terminal kidney failure: less than 15 ml/min (requires dialysis or a kidney transplant)
Since GFR numbers can vary depending on age and other factors, it’s important to consult with a physician about your GFR blood test results. A low GFR rate doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong with your kidneys. However, low GFR rates paired with high protein levels in urine may indicate a kidney problem. As such, your doctor may request other tests in addition to a GFR to determine the overall health of your kidneys.
Can Dehydration Cause Low GFR?
So, can dehydration cause low GFR? Absolutely. Hydration status has a huge impact on kidney function and thus can impact GFR scores. When your body doesn’t have enough fluids and electrolytes, it can’t remove waste products such as serum creatinine and urea. This leads to a build-up of proteins and other wastes in the kidneys. This can also increase GFR values and put a strain on your kidneys (more on that in a moment).
Here are some of the main risk factors of kidney disease:
- Chronic dehydration
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High cholesterol levels
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- Family history of kidney disease
- Certain medications including anti-inflammatory medicines such as Ibuprofen
In addition, people over the age of 60 and those who are African American, American Indian, Asian, or Hispanic are at higher risk of developing renal disease.
The bottom line: If you are constantly dehydrated, your kidney health can suffer. To avoid dehydration, use an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. DripDrop ORS is a proven alternative to IV therapy for managing mild to moderate dehydration. It's powerful enough to use in extreme circumstances but safe enough for everyday use.
How Dehydration Affects Your Kidneys
It’s no secret that the human body is largely made up of water. In fact, up to 60% of the human body is water. This water, both inside and outside of cells, contains electrolytes or charged minerals, including sodium, chloride, potassium, and calcium. Your organs — from your brain and lungs to your heart and kidneys — need both water and electrolytes to function properly.
Dehydration occurs when you don’t get enough water and electrolytes or when you lose them more quickly than you can replenish them. The most common causes of dehydration are illnesses that cause diarrhea and vomiting, excessive sweating (in high heat as well as in wintertime), and simply not drinking enough fluids. Certain medications and kidney problems that increase urination can also heighten the risk of dehydration.
When you’re dehydrated, your body can’t function properly. That’s because water and electrolytes are essential to remove wastes from your blood via urine and to bulk up blood volume. Without enough fluids, waste becomes concentrated in your blood and the amount of blood fluid volume and blood flow decreases dramatically. This in turn increases strain on your kidneys and raises the risk of renal disease.
Chronic dehydration or cases of severe dehydration can damage your kidneys. When you’re dehydrated, wastes and toxins build up in the kidneys, often leading to increased protein levels that can cause problems such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney stones. Both of these problems can cause long-term kidney damage, minimizing their ability to remove wastes and keep you healthy.
Fluids are particularly important for kidney health. You need water and electrolytes to prevent tiny crystals of urine from clumping together and creating kidney stones. In addition, fluids are essential for dissolving medications such as antibiotics, which are used to treat UTIs. Fluids also bulk up urine, helping to flush out any toxins or pathogens that can make you sick.
It’s easy to see how vital fluids are when it comes to kidney health. The best way to tackle dehydration is to use an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. It comes in convenient packaging that makes it easy to have on hand, even when you’re on-the-go. It’s a fast, low-cost, proven alternative to IV therapy for the management of mild to moderate dehydration.
Warning Signs of Dehydration
So now that you know the answer to “can dehydration cause low GFR” is yes, you can educate yourself on the condition and develop a plan to avoid dehydration. Knowing the warning signs of dehydration is key to recognizing the condition.
Here are the most common symptoms of dehydration:
- Excessive thirst
- Low blood pressure
- Dark urine
- Decreased urination
- Dry mouth or dry skin
- Lightheadedness and fatigue
- Sunken eyes
- Confusion or irritability
If you think your low GFR scores are caused by dehydration, it’s important to take quick action to increase your fluid intake. Reach for an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. With flavors like Berry and Watermelon and hot flavors including Honey Lemon Ginger and Hibiscus, it’s a tasty way to crush dehydration fast.
When you're in a state of dehydration, increasing water intake alone is not enough. Your body needs the perfect balance of sodium and glucose to help absorb water. With the precisely balanced ratio in DripDrop ORS, you can replenish vital electrolytes and fluids to relieve dehydration quickly. DripDrop ORS also offers vitamins like zinc, potassium, and magnesium, which are essential to support your overall health.
Medical-grade DripDrop ORS allows you to alleviate mild to moderate dehydration outside of a hospital setting, without the need for costly and painful IV therapy. Our patented formula is powerful enough to help patients suffering from dehydration caused by Ebola and cholera but safe enough for everyday use. Plus, DripDrop ORS tastes amazing and comes in a variety of flavors you can enjoy hot or cold.
Tackle Dehydration With DripDrop ORS
Can dehydration cause low GFR results? Yes. To determine if your low GFS scores are caused by dehydration or a kidney disorder, keep an eye out for other symptoms of dehydration. Things like dizziness, extreme thirst, and dark urine are key indicators that you may be dehydrated. It’s also important to review your GFR test results with a qualified physician to rule out any other contributors.
If your low GFR scores are caused by dehydration, it’s important to act fast. Then, make an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS part of your daily routine. DripDrop ORS was developed by a doctor on a mission to defeat life-threatening dehydration. The patented formula provides medically relevant electrolyte levels, improving on the World Health Organization’s Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) standards because of its delicious taste, giving you a medically viable ORS that also tastes great.
For cases of mild to moderate dehydration, DripDrop ORS is a fast, effective, and great tasting remedy. The convenient packaging allows you to have DripDrop ORS when you need it, where you need it.
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